THIS line-up of talented engineers can say they worked on a telescope which is being launched into space in 2021.

The students from St Benedict’s Catholic College in Colchester were runners up to the Faraday Challenge having competed with nearly 200 teams from schools across the country.

Their challenge was to design a prototype which would help move the James Webb space telescope safely to its launch site in French Guiana.

Judges highly commended the Year 8 students for what they achieved as teachers were banned from lending a hand in the competition which had been organised by the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Teacher Shola Adenekan said: “The students even got the opportunity to meet and speak to some of the engineers and astronomers involved in building the James Webb telescope.

“When it’s finally launched into space, our students can proudly say they were a part of the whole process.

“I think that’s just amazing.”

Kira and Dominik Callegari, Daniel Brown, Andrew Suttle and Quentin Boakye-Ansah were the initial team winners in the top five Faraday Challenge league table.

This automatically won them an expenses paid trip to Edinburgh to go head-to-head with the other top teams for a final challenge.

Luke Kelly and Aoife Hodgkinson then replaced the Callegari twins for the last competition in Edinburgh.

Judges for the final task included the Young Woman Engineer of the Year, Sophie Harker, Michelle Richmond, who has worked on a satellite for the British Armed Forces, Carolyn Atkins, a research scientist at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre and Pierre Ferruit from the European Space Agency.

Mrs Adenekan praised the students for their ingenuity.

She said: “Michelle was so impressed with all the students and mentioned that a lot of the problem solving skills they exhibited were similar to those of her engineering team.”

Natalie Clerke, education manager for the Faraday Challenge, added: “The quality of the students’ work throughout has been fantastic and it was an extremely close final.”